A woman in Turkey has been arrested after pretending to be a doctor for a year while barely graduating from high school. Ayşe Özkiraz, 20, is facing a serious investigation into her behavior, especially since she had access to patients and was responsible for treating them.
Özkiraz told her fellow doctors that she specialized in pediatrics, but none of it was true. Here’s how she allegedly tricked her way into the hospital and how she was discovered.
Graduated from high school
Özkiraz accepted a job at the state hospital in Çerkezköy, about 100 kilometers from the Turkish capital Istanbul. Using fake papers, Özkiraz claimed to be a graduate of Istanbul University’s Çapa Medical School, which was not true. She was actually just a high school graduate, not a medical student or an intern.
Hospital staff eventually became suspicious of Özkiraz and what her actual credentials were. When questioned about very basic medical knowledge, she gave evasive or incorrect answers. Concerned about the situation, hospital staff called the local police, who searched Özkiraz’s house.
In Özkiraz’s house, the police found fake university ID cards, doctor ID cards and diplomas. They also found ID cards from several other hospitals and medical/surgical uniforms and outfits. Not only had Özkiraz fooled the hospital, but she also allegedly lied to her parents by telling them she was a doctor.
In a statement, Özkiraz explained her motives. “When I was in high school, my family wanted me to study medicine,” she said. “They believed in me and thought I would get a high score. When I graduated from high school, I took the college exam. But… I failed. Not to shake my family’s trust in me , I said to my mother: stepfather and stepbrothers I [had a place at] the Capa Medical Faculty so that there would be no problems at home. I prepared the documents and showed them to my family.”
Despite her confession, Semra Arslan, Özkiraz’s mother, believes that her daughter must be innocent. “She ate meals in operating rooms,” she told Turkish news outlet Cumhuriyet. “The head doctor was also with her. She is in the picture with the doctor. When we video call, she is in the room with the nurses. Are these all lies? We don’t understand!”
Arslan believes that someone else is involved in the debacle and should also be brought to justice. “My kid would never try something like that,” she says. Özkiraz has been accused of “resisting the law on the practice of the style of medicine and medical sciences”.